20 FIFA World Cup Facts and Figures
Compiled by Frederick Mordi
- The FIFA World Cup is the ‘world’s most widely viewed sporting event,’ which takes place every four years
- The World Cup is organised by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
- 32 teams participate in the World Cup
- 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup
- Uruguay won the first World Cup in 1930
- Eight national teams have won the World Cup, and they have added stars to their badges, with each star representing a World Cup victory. They include: Uruguay, Italy, Brazil, England, Germany, Argentina, France and Spain
- Nigeria made a debut in 1994 in USA
- The 1970 World Cup hosted by Mexico was the first to be televised in colour
- Ronaldo de Lima of Brazil is the highest all-time goal scorer with 15 goals in three World Cup appearances..
- The oldest footballer to score in a World Cup match was Roger Milla of Cameroon at the age of 42 years, 39 days against Russia in USA ’94. Russia won by a 6-1 margin.
- The first African to score at the World Cup was Abdulrahman Fawzi of Egypt in 1934.
- With five titles, Brazil are the most successful World Cup team and also the only nation to have played in every World Cup (19) to date.
- Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) are the only nations to have won consecutive titles.
- West Germany (1982–1990) and Brazil (1994–2002) are the only nations to appear in three consecutive World Cup finals
- Germany have made the most top-four finishes, with 12, while sharing the record of most top-two finishes with Brazil, with seven.
- The Adidas Golden Ball award is presented to the most outstanding player at each World Cup finals, with a list generated by the FIFA technical committee and the winner voted on by members of the media – 2010 Winner: Diego Forlan (Uruguay).
- The Adidas Golden Shoe award is presented to the top goal scorer at every World Cup finals – 2010 Winner: Thomas Müller (Germany)
- Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2010 in South Africa.
- 3.2 billion people worldwide watched the 2010 World Cup – 46.4% of the world
- Brazil will host the 20th edition from June 12-July 13 2014.